Huber on strength of RRU cohorts

RRU alumni Charla Huber speaking in front of a display indoors

Master of Arts in Professional Communication alum Charla Huber tells a powerful story on the power of the Royal Roads cohort model in the Victoria Times Colonist, and honours fellow cohort member Lieutenant Commander Desmond James.

Here is an excerpt from her story:

Near the end of our program, James let us know he would be deployed to the Middle East, but could not disclose his exact location. He also said he would continue working on the degree while abroad. I heard these words, but I didn’t fully comprehend what his experience or role would be.

I know now that James was a public affairs officer for NATO Mission Iraq.

During his deployment, we were working on a group project with a few other classmates. We would have team meetings over video conference, and we would see James in his uniform and his surroundings in Iraq. It felt like he had transformed into someone else. It was a lesson to me that there are many different layers and experiences to the people we know that we are not always privy to.

As our weekly team meetings progressed, James’ situation turned into a scary territory.

“It was a non-combat mission that suddenly switched gears,” James explained.

He was telling us about bombings, rocket attacks, attack helicopters flying overhead, the arrival of the U.S. Army and Marines in the region and a possible evacuation.

He was telling us this so we would know he might be late with his assignment contributions. As a team, we only cared about his safety and let him know we could cover his obligations. He declined our offers and still delivered.

Read the full story in Huber’s column in the Times Colonist.